Int Football – Argentina to turn to Maradona

Argentinian legend Diego Maradona is set to be named coach of the national side after he came out of a meeting with Argentinian Football Association president Julio Grondona.

FOOTBALL Maradona - 0

“It’s a bit early for congratulations but it’s an idea which seduces me,” Maradona said. “We will continue talking tomorrow.

“The idea is to start working immediately after the official announcement with the players who are in Argentina and then take the first plane to talk to the ones in Europe.

“He [Grondona] has decided for this project. It appears that Julio never had any other coach in mind.”

Carlos Bilardo, who managed the 1986 World Cup-winning team led by Maradona, was also at the meeting and is expected to be part of his staff.

Maradona would replace Alfio Basile, who quit after the 1-0 World Cup qualifying defeat by Chile two weeks ago.

“I have been working since yesterday, today we got together again, and tomorrow we will do the same, again,” Grondona said.

World Cup-winning coach Carlos Bilardo, who will be director of football for the national team.

“Diego will be the next coach of the national team,” said Bilardo.

The 48-year-old Maradona – who almost singlehandedly led Argentina tovictory at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico – won crucial support last week in his bid to become the next Argentina coach when the man charged with finding Alfio Basile’s successor threw his weight behind the former Boca Juniors, Napoli and Barcelona.

“I’d like Maradona to be the next coach,” said Noray Nakis, the president of the Argentina Football Association selection commission.

Basile resigned a fortnight ago after a World Cup qualifying defeat to Chile which left them in third place after 10 matches, seven points adrift of leaders Paraguay.

Other candidates for the job included San Lorenzo coach Miguel Angel Russo and Sergio Batista who took the Under-23 squad to Olympic gold in Beijing in August.


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